Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad today demanded answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the gang rape and murder of a 20-year-old Dalit woman from Uttar Pradesh's Hathras - whose body cops then cremated at 2.30 am - in a crime that has outraged the nation. He also joined a protest in the evening at Jantar Mantar in central Delhi, where hundreds of people came with placards and shouted slogans; Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is also expected to attend.
"I will visit Hathras. Our struggle will continue till Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister [Yogi Adityanath] doesn't resign and justice is not served. I urge the Supreme Court to take cognisance of the incident," he said at Jantar Mantar.
Earlier, in an emotional message, Mr Azad - whose Bhim Army led a protest earlier this week outside Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital where the young woman died of horrific injuries suffered in the assault - lashed out at the Prime Minister and said his silence was "a danger for our daughters".
"In the same Uttar Pradesh that elected him and sent him to parliament, there is brutality against a daughter from Hathras. She was raped and murdered... her bones broken and body cremated like garbage. When there is human rights violation in Uttar Pradesh, does not the Prime Minister say a word?" he asked.
Prime Minister Modi is a Lok Sabha MP from UP's Varanasi.
"Neither can the Prime Minister hear her screams nor her family's screams. How long will you stay silent, Prime Minister? You will have to give answers. Today, at 5 pm, we are coming... to demand answers. Your silence is a danger for our daughters," he added.
Chandrashekhar Azad told the Prime Minister "you will have to speak... you will have to give answers and you will have to ensure justice is delivered".
Mr Azad called for a protest at the iconic India Gate in central Delhi at 5 pm.
Shortly afterwards, acknowledging that Delhi Police has imposed restrictions on crowds in the area, Mr Azad said the agitation had been shifted to 5 pm at Jantar Mantar, which is around three kilometres away.
The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi tweeted a rallying cry in support of a protest that prompted cops to ban large crowds around India Gate.
This is the second time Mr Azad has called on the Prime Minister, who so far has not commented on the Hathras tragedy, to speak out. Speaking to NDTV Mr Azad asked: "How come the Prime Minister hasn't commented?" and, taking on the Yogi Adityanath government, added: "Don't expect justice in Uttar Pradesh".
The date of protests is significant - today is Gandhi Jayanti, or the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, who was among the first to fight for oppressed members of the so-called lower castes.
Mr Azad's Bhim Army also protested outside the Delhi hospital where the woman died, highlighting the caste angle in a vicious attack that has drawn comparisons to the 2012 Delhi gang rape.
On Thursday Mr Azad demanded President's Rule in UP, alleging "failure of constitutional machinery" in the state over crimes against Dalits.
He also said he has started a protest at his home in UP's Saharanpur where he had been placed under "house arrest" as ordered by local police the day before.
The 20-year-old woman, who died Tuesday suffered fractures, paralysis and a spinal injury after a savage assault by four men from the so-called upper castes. The police said there was a gash in her tongue because she had bitten it while being strangled.
With input from PTI